10 Kid-Friendly Restaurants You Can Have A Drink At… Without Going Insane

Just because you have kids doesn’t mean that you have to become a hermit for the next 18 years. Parents of the 21st century are actively seeking ways to maintain their own identity while raising kids and being able to socialize in an adult setting (no Chuckie Cheese’s, please!). However, you also don’t want to be THAT person who brings their whining, wriggling kids to the wrong restaurant and has to contend with the glares from childless adults during the meal.

San Diego parents are lucky to have many great restaurants that are both adult and kid friendly.

You can rest assured that your fellow diners won’t be judging you or your kids at these establishments.

So go ahead, skip the babysitter and bring your kids along to these fun restaurants that offer a balance of adult and kid time:

1. Farmer & The Seahorse – 10996 Torreyana Road, San Diego, CA

Adults will enjoy the sophisticated menu while kids will love to check out a variety of games, like bocce ball and corn hole, available on the astroturf lawn outside the patio at this Torrey Pines restaurant. Indoors you’ll find a selection of board games to keep the little ones entertained too.

2. Campfire – 2725 State St, Carlsbad, CA

You have to admit that you would have been immediately drawn to the large teepee on Campfire’s patio when you were a kid too. Not only is the setting super cool but the teepee also contains books and toys for the kids to play with while waiting for their food. Of course, a restaurant named Campfire has to have a real-life campfire. The fire pit with wooden stump seats adds a fun touch to the patio.

3. Park 101 – 3040 Carlsbad Blvd, Carlsbad, CA

Who wants cotton candy for dessert? Yum! Every kid’s meal at the recently opened Park 101 comes with a token for cotton candy at the end of the meal. Talk about every kid’s dream come true! As for adults, you can choose from a wide selection of beer and wine to pair with your delicious BBQ. It’s a win-win for everyone!

4. Stone Brewery – 1999 Citracado Pkwy, Escondido, CA and 2816 Historic Decatur Rd, Ste 116, San Diego, CA

Both of Stone’s expansive locations, in Liberty Station and Escondido, offer kid friendly environments where hip parents can sit back and enjoy a cold beer while the little ones run around and play games in the garden. The kid menu may not feature a lot of standard kid food (no chicken nuggets here!) but it’s perfect for little foodies in the making.

5. Panama 66 – 1450 El Prado, San Diego, CA

Bring the kids to Panama 66 in the lovely Balboa Park for a good time for all, young and “old.” The children can explore the enclosed statue garden while you relax with a drink and unwind from the week. Stop by on Friday and Saturday nights to enjoy live music while you dine.

6. The Crack Shack – 2266 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA and 407 Encinitas Blvd, Encinitas, CA

Not only does The Crack Shack serve incredible chicken but both of the locations also provides a fun setting for the whole family to enjoy. Try a game of bocce ball on the lawn or pose for a silly photo with the giant chicken that stands guard over the patio. Trust us, it’s a great, unique photo op!

7. Ember + Still – 124 S Solana Hills Dr, Ste 124, Solana Beach, CA

(Permanently closed)

Let Ember + Still’s indoor play room entertain the kids while you enjoy some adult time with a glass of well-earned wine. Kids can watch a movie, play games, color, build with blocks, etc. and you can have peace of mind knowing that your children are close by.

8. Station Tavern and Burgers – 2204 Fern St, San Diego, CA

There’s no denying it. Kids love trains! South Park’s Station caters to this common childhood obsession with an outdoor play area featuring a kid-sized train car. While the kids run around the designated play zone, adults can easily keep an eye on their offspring and drink a cold one.

9. Waypoint Public – 3794 30th St, San Diego, CA

(Permanently closed)

It looks like a bar from the outside but Waypoint Public is incredibly kid friendly. With an enclosed play area with books, toys and a movie screen, the North Park hotspot knows how to keep the kids entertained so the parents can imbibe some of the great beers on tap.

10. Urge Gastropub and Common House – 255 Redel Rd, San Marcos, CA

(Permanently closed)

If you have kids, Urge is worth making the trek up to North County. The San Marcos restaurant offers an outdoor patio with an extensive list of games, like oversized Connect 4 and Jenga. There’s even a bowling alley inside, for an additional charge, if you want to extend your outing and rent a lane.

BONUS: The Pony Room at Rancho Valencia – 5921 Valencia Circle, Rancho Santa Fe, CA

Rancho Valencia was named the “#1 Resort in California” by US News and World Report, but it still seems to be a secret to much of San Diego. The great news is that you don’t have to stay at the resort to go enjoy its wonderful bar and restaurant, The Pony Room, which opens up onto a large lawn with lots of space for your kids to run and play corn hole, badminton, etc – while you enjoy fantastic food cocktails with a view of the whole scene. One of our favorite places in San Diego!

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